Private doctors in Limpopo to perform free surgery on 19-year-old with skin condition

SABC News Doctors R - Private doctors in Limpopo to perform free surgery on 19-year-old with skin condition

A 19-year-old  student from Moletjie, outside Polokwane in Limpopo, who lives with a medical condition known as Keloids, has been offered free surgery by private doctors in the province. Koena Mokhari from Ga-Ramoshwane developed lumps and scarring all over his skin, which could not heal. Mokhari says his facial skin started developing lumps.

Keloids is a common medical skin condition, where the skin is not able to heal naturally.

Grade 10 learner, Mokhari started developing the condition six years ago. At the time, his skin could not heal naturally. The condition worsened when lumps started forming on his face, and grew bigger over time. He says the lumps altered his appearance.

“I developed this condition in 2014, it started attacking my face then spread all over the body, the scarring is painful and has affected me at school. I have tried to continue attending despite the pain, this surgery will help me as I currently struggle to live a normal life.”

The condition has also had a negative impact on his confidence. Mokhari says people constantly stare at him, whenever he is in public. He hopes the surgery by the doctors in the private sector will change his life.

“When I am in public everyone stares at me, the people in the village no longer stare at me because they are used to me. I hope this surgery will help improve my life and allow me to feel free in public.”

Keloids is a common skin defect that results in bumps and lumps across the affected skin. Doctors say its causes are relatively unknown. Plastic surgeon at Netcare Pholoso Hospital Dr. Thendo Netshiongolwe says in the case of Keloid, the scars on the body are not able to heal.

“With some people, the scar tends to grow out of the borders of the normal wound and we call that a Keloid. It develops on this individual what happens is that the body goes on overdrive while trying to heal and it forms a very very huge lump so it is like a lump of scar tissue that develops, it is an abnormal growth.”

Dr Netshiongolwe says Mokhari will also be sent to other specialists at no cost.

“With the help of the Netcare foundation we are going to operate on this young gentleman at Netcare Pholoso hospital,  and then after we operate on him at Netcare hospital it is going to go to Limpopo Oncology, which is run by Dr. Moyaba who has also offered his services to come on board, so Netcare foundation is paying for all his treatment.”

Mokhari’s surgery is scheduled to take place at the end of the month after school exams are concluded.

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